What Are Robo Advisors?
A Robo-Advisor is a digital platform that allows you to plan out automated financial planning solutions and then sit back and let the robot run the program. This bot will collect a variety of different information types from clients about finances and financial goals via an online survey. It then uses this information and the data that goes with it, to automatically invest assets that the client has given the bot to work with.
This can be a very easy way to structure a more customized financial planning structure without having to work with a real person to plan your finances. For people who have some experience with investing, this can offer up a low-cost option to deliver really big results. One of the other benefits to this method of investing is that it requires a very low original investment.
Because of the low-risk nature of this kind of service, even beginners will find that this is an accessible means for them to get started investing. Like many bots, there are downsides to using one, but Robo-Advisors are a very viable way to invest money and make it work hard for you without having to do too much work on your side of the relationship.
How do Robo-Advisors work?
Robo-Advisors were in use before they were made available to the public. Fund managers were using these tools for years before the general users were allowed to start taking advantage of bot-generated financial planning.
Robo-Advisors use indexing strategies that are built into their programming to help determine what is a good buy and what is not. Robo-Advisors can be focused on specific variants that might guide you toward lower, or higher-risk investing. You can even choose tactical strategies like socially responsible investing or you can elect to mimic hedge funds
Robo Advisors all require that you fill out a quiz online that asks key questions about what matters to your about investing. You can state your goals and intentions for your invested money to help clarify the kinds of risks that you want to take and what kinds of investing appeal to you. The bot will take the data that you have given it, and turn this into a plan that it will use to guide your investing.
Once you have completed the survey and added some money to your portfolio, the bot will go to work investing this money and looking daily for new and better ways to make your money work harder for you. The bots are able to tell what has changed in the market as well as project future changes with some reliability, so you will not have to worry that your Robo-Advisor is not working hard in the background at all times.
Should You Use a Robo-Advisor?
The question of whether or not to use a Robo-Advisor is mostly a matter of personal preference. This is a safe, low-cost way to manage your investment portfolio. For some people, there is a certain benefit to working with a real person for your financial planning needs, but there are many extra fees and charges that come with having an actual person manage your invested money.
One of the biggest reasons that you should skip the human investment manager, is that this person is likely using the same bot that you have given permission to invest your money and track market behavior! Why pay someone to do this service for you when the bot is really the one doing all the work.
With the ability to set your own personalized management strategy into the bot’s behavior, you will find that there are not many things that the bot cannot do for you. You do not even need to have a lot of experience with financial planning to use a bot very effectively. This is one of the lowest-cost, highest benefits ways to invest money, and using a real human investing agent or financial planner makes little sense when a bot can do everything that they can do.
Are Robo-Advisor Fees Worth It?
Robo-Advisors do not all charge fees. Some of them are even free! Most of the charges that are built into the use of Robo-Advisors are done annually at a low percentage rate. If you were to have a really exciting year with your invested money, you might pay more with this small percentage than you had expected, but it will be nothing when compared to paying the fees that are required for a human investor.
There are not many instances where the fees that a Robo-Advisor’s charges will not be far less than what you will pay both annually and per sales or other service when working with an investment manager. You will have all of the control, less cost, and better overall money-making outcomes from working with your own money with the help of a Robo-Advisor.
Is Using a Robo-Advisor a Good Investment?
A Robo-Advisor is nearly always a good investment. There are almost no downsides to using this method of investing money. Even if you are an investment beginner, you can choose from a variety of management strategies and elect to start out cautiously if you are not sure that you are ready for a big plunge into investing just yet.
Due to the low cost to buy into this kind of investment management process, there is no other way to invest your money that is as cost effective. For many people, the small amount of money that they use for their original investment was not something they were going to miss and that money will grow exponentially over time while they do other things every day.
The set-it-and-forget-it nature of Robo-Advising makes this a really good bet for anyone to use this tool to their advantage. Coupled with the low fee structure, you will find that there are few reasons that this is not a really good option for making your money work harder for you on a daily basis.
What are the Benefits of Robo-Advisors?
Some people are still innately worried about the presence of bots in our daily lives. This is an old-fashioned concern and one that is usually born of a lack of understanding about what a bot can do for you. The Robo-Advisor strategy of management has been used by professionals working in the industry for years, so you should expect that most of your money that has been managed by a person was actually being managed by one of these bots.
Robo-Advisors offer a whole host of benefits that you can take advantage of.
The buy-in for most of these plans that are run by a Robo-Advisor is quite low. You can choose as much or as little money as you to invest in the effort. This is not always the case with money that is being managed by a human and you will find that you will have lower fees to balance out your investment efforts as well.
There is nothing that is easier to use than a Robo-Advisor. You simply fill out a personalized quiz and then get to work investing! The Robo-Advisor results from these quizzes offer a high level of effectiveness in pairing you with various strategies that have proven to work for years now. It is important to remember that the technology that you are using for this investment model has been in use for years, but only financial planners could get access to it.
- Does Not Require a Degree in Finance
The old argument that you needed an expert investor on your side to help you to plan and guide your invested finances is old news now. With the power of this kind of technology on your side, you do not need to sit down and pore over stock market information, projections, or other metrics to manage all of your investing needs. The Robo-Advisor that you have picked will be able to look into all of these factors for you and guide your money in the right direction with little input from you.
How to Choose Robo-Advisor?
Robo-Advisors are all fairly similar, so you will find that picking any of the options that are out there will work out fine overall. However, some of them have different fee structures and others will allow you to invest more aggressively if you so desire.
At the end of the day, the best Robo-Advisor for your needs will have the fee structure that you want to work with and the right access to stocks that you want. You might need to do some research about the fee process, the behavior of the app itself, and your own desired investment strategy before you pick a Robo-Advisor. There are many ways to work with this kind of tool, so you should take some time to look into what these Robo-Advisors offer before picking one.
If you are ready to start shopping for the right Robo-Advisors for you, this list will give you a good jump on this project! You will be able t compare and contrast the benefits of each of these great options for your own unique needs and make an educated decision about which one is right for you.
Best For: Beginners and Those Who Love to Keep it Simple
- Easy to use
- No fees
- Free app
- Retirement planning
- Can lack sophistication for experienced investors
This is one of the Robo-Advisors out there that is completely free. This makes it a great way to get started with Robo-Advisor investing without having to pay any unnecessary fees or other costs for your efforts. The app is really excellent and easy to navigate and you can look at your data with delightful charts and other widgets that make it clear which parts of your investment strategy are working the best for you.
The Pies and Slices widget is a great way to see which portion of your invested money is working the hardest and most effectively for you at a glance. This is a great choice if your want a low-cost yet very effective means to enjoy Robo-Advisor investing. The minimum deposit for this app is $100.
Best For: Large Accounts and Talking to a Person
- Allows for high dollar accounts
- Easy to use interface
- Lots of widgets and information at your fingertips
- Real people on the phone for extra help
- Indexing is not direct
- Premium plan can be a bit steep for fees
This Robo-Advisor has a big following and it’s immediately easy to see why. This is a very easy-to-use app that offers many features for looking at your data and growing your money. This app offers a great blend of self-guided work and also allows you the ability to talk to a real person if you need some additional help.
This can be a great way to bridge the gap between traditional investing models and the old-school way of working with your money with the guidance of an expert on your side. For some people, this is the right choice to make for their comfort. This plan charges an annual fee of 0.25% and the premium plan charges 0.40%. You get unlimited assistance for your premium plan and a higher balance range for your accounts.
The minimum deposit for Betterment is $10 for most account types.
Best For: New Investors
- New users
- Great fee structure
- Plan for various kinds of saving
- Recommended portfolio settings
- No online support function
- Large accounts can be pressed to contain expensive mutual funds
This is a great choice if you want a lot of options for the way that you are planning to save. You will enjoy the ability to save in many ways and to balance your portfolio in many ways when you work with Wealthfront. This is a very flexible platform that can be staged for use by almost anyone. You will love that you can cater to your own goals with so much specificity with this app.
While there is no online support function for this advisor which is not ideal, if you have a little experience with the use of this kind of tool you will be fine. You will not need a lot of experience to overcome this shortcoming and you will love that you can determine your own future with this Robo-Advisor.
Best For: Large Company With Great Options
- Well-established company
- Lots of flexibility for your portfolio
- Vanguard Digital Advisor Option
- Limited account types
- Limited portfolio options for some account types
- No tax-loss harvesting
This is one of the original and largest apps in this space. You will get the benefit of a really quality advisor to help you make the tough decisions if you have a brokerage account with $3,000 or more in it. You can also manage your own efforts to create financial security for this app. The fees are very reasonable on this app and are only slightly higher on the managed accounts which is very fair.
This is a really great choice for investors of all levels of experience. You will find that there are not too many limits on what you can do with this advisor and you will get big results from this Robo-Advisor. Minimum account investment depends on types of account you are seeking to open.
Best For: Low-Investment to Start and Cash Back
- Very low-cost
- Easy to use
- Cash back
- Very limited for some investors
- Small investment portfolio
- High fees on small account balances
Acorns is a really easy tool to use for as small an amount as $5 a month. You can even sign up for $1 a month! This makes this a really affordable choice for you to make if you want to get your start in the Robo-Advising world.
This is a very simple Robo-Advisor to use because there are only 5 plan styles that you can choose from. This takes a lot of the guesswork out if you are not sure what will work best for your needs. You will find that you can also link a payment method that will allow you to spend as much or as little as you want to make your spending bank bigger.
You get cash back on this Robo-Advisor as you buy groceries and gas and other items all month. This can be a high fee option if you do not maximize the use of your account, but the ease of use makes it preferable for some people anyway.
Best For: Basic and Simple Use
- Commission free
- No account minimum
- Web platform is great
- There are no transaction fee mutual funds
- No branches
Ally Invest is a self-directed structure that allows you to automate many different aspects of your portfolio management process. There is great support for this app and you can chat, email, or call for help when you need it. You will need a minimum of $1,00 for managed portfolios.
No fees for anything but very limited services for this app. $0 to invest and $0 trading commissions for regular accounts.
Best For: Hybrid Approach of Management
- Tools are free
- Great encryption
- Fewer sites linked to their network for added security
- Matched to a financial advisor
- High minimum of $100,000
- Mobile app not the best
- Fees are high
While the fees and the original investment amounts can be high for this Robo-Advisor, this is because they really do not want to be viewed as an advising app. They offer Robo-Advisory services as part of fully managed financial planning. This means that you will get an investment planner for your investing needs as well as being able to work on your own investment preferences yourself.
Portfolio management is really good with this tool and you will feel like you are not sacrificing access to really high-quality investment options for your needs.
Best For: Retirement Planning and Hands-Off Management
- Great free tools
- Amazing retirement planning advice and assessment
- Good human support
- High account minimum
- High management fee
This is a great choice if you want a flat fee for all transactions. You will pay more on some transactions for this but it often averages out to be a much fairer way to pay fees that with other apps. Account minimum is $5,000.
This app has great free tools despite its high management fee. You will also get to work with great online brokers. Their knowledge tools are also quite good. This is a great choice is you have some experience and want to manage your own higher-level investment portfolio. Perhaps the shining star of their offerings is their comprehensive retirement analysis which is free.
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Best For: High-Risk Crypto Trading
- Access to 15 cryptocurrencies
- Low minimum to fund accounts
- Match Moves from other traders
- Only available in 41 states
- Limited to crypto trade
This is a really good mid-level option that allows you to start out at $50. This is a really great way to use their innovative trading methods to trade cryptocurrency and to mirror popular traders while doing so This is a great platform to work with highly speculative trading that you might not otherwise get to utilize for your Robo-Advisor account.
Best For: Automated Functions
- Automated rebalance and dividend reinvesting
- Access to financial advisors
- Socially conscious portfolio
- High fees
- Geared for higher investment tiers
Nutmeg is a great option if you want to work on your ISA savings and personal pensions. They offer a variety of different management account types and you will find that you can work with a variety of pre-built options as well. Their questionnaire is thorough and they let you pick between socially responsible as well as fixed allocation and fully managed options.
This is another choice that lets you balance between fully-managed and robo options. You will get some great goal-setting options from working with this management platform that you will love.
Best For: Conservative Approach
- Low fees
- Diversification chances
- Everything is done for you
- Portfolios are limited
- Initial deposit is high for most accounts
- No socially responsible portfolio
This is a simple and low-hassle way to get involved in this kind of investing. The portfolio performance has been great with this option and you will be able to get started for a low price. You will also get an advisor to interact with for your investing decisions. You can get started with Moneyfarm for £1.
Moneyfarm tends to be cautious but that means that they generate steady results that you can count on. They are the main competitor for Nutmeg, but they offer a more conservative approach that can take care of the needs of people who want this level of cautious spending in their investment portfolio.
Best For: Socially Conscious Investing and Themes
- Socially conscious investing
- Easy to use
- New but pretty diverse
- Investment advice is a bit lacking
- The flat fees might be high for some accounts
This is a new company that has just launched not long ago. This is a socially responsible investment app that focuses on ethical investing. You will find that you can still diversify with reasonable success with this app. You choose a theme, planet, people, and planet to get your investments set up. You will get a different bracket of investment options for any of these choices.
This is a fairly low-fee option but you do have to invest £100 minimum to get started. Their monthly plans require a monthly commitment as well in most cases. This is a jargon-free model that attempts to work like a regular app would in most ways.
Best For: App-Driven Investments
- Simple app
- Easy to navigate risk levels
- Withdrawals at any time
- Can make savings accounts
- Capital can be at risk when you invest in some account types
- Charges can be high for those starting out
- Can take a while to see a return on investments
This is a great investment app that offers a lot of ways to diversify. This is a low-fee option that offers up good interest rates and 45-day notice account that will offer an annual rate that is around 0.45% for higher dollar investment. Their plans are simple and easy to navigate.
This is a great option if you want to combine many products under one Moneybox account so that management is not a burden for your daily needs. This is a very secure option that allows you to get invested for just £1 for some account types. You can also link bank accounts to make it easier to invest on the fly.
Best For: Islamic Law Compliance
- Islamic law portfolio investing
- Rounded up purchase benefits
- Free portfolio review
- Smart savings account
- Fees can be high
- Lack of personal finance tools
Another really nice socially-conscious investing tool, this app allows you to invest with various tiers of input and you can get access to human advisors if you want the extra assistance. There is no account minimum which is another added plus.
Work with various levels of investing that are based on different approaches. You can pick from Conservative, Balanced, Growth, SRI, and Halal. SRI accounts do not charge additional fees and you can get a high yield savings account with them as well. The Shariah-compliant portfolio is totally unique with this platform and complies with Islamic Law.
Best For: Return on Investment
- ROI is great
- Great EFT research
- Use of uninvested money is excellent
- Flexible news feed
- Can be hard to customize the platform
- Non-US citizens are not eligible
This is a major online brokerage that you can work with on an automated basis. This is a firm that wins awards and offers a lot of diversity for your investing needs. Trade execution is second-to-none with this entity and you will be able to sweep money into money market funds if it is not invested.
You will also find that you will get a great rate of return with this investment option. Fidelity consistently returns at a better rate than many of their competitors. Fees are reasonable overall and you can invest readily in many different kinds of accounts. The biggest downside of this platform is that it is only open to US investors.
Best For: New app
- Easy to use
- Good charts for investing
- Very expensive starting deposit
- New app
- Limited to the UK
While this app is localized to the UL at this time, you can do big things with this app if you have access to it. Exo offers a great analysis of ways to spend your money and to make it work hard for you. You can look at short and long-term yield on this app and you will find that you can sink money into various kinds of apps. Fees are fairly reasonable on this option as well.
This is a great platform for new investors and those who are passive investors and want to just set-it-and-forget-it. You can also use this platform quite successfully is you are an experienced investor who wants a very affordable option to get started investing with a Robo-Investor.
Best For: Cheap and Simple Selections
- Cheap charges
- Low-cost advice
- Great customer service
- Does not allow EFT training
- Limited portfolios
- Limited resources
This is a really nice platform if you do know something about how to invest money. While the app itself is novice-friendly, you will find that you need to understand trading to work with this option. The fees are very competitive despite the limited number of portfolios.
They use three investment portfolios for you to choose from to make things simple, which can be great for novice investors. You will have to sign up to see the full offerings which can be a stumbling block and the research services are less than ideal. Their customer service does make up for some of the shortfalls on this platform, however.
Best For: Investing in Commodities
- Can invest in commodities
- Easy to use platform that is high-quality
- Excellent management
- Higher than other for investment
- Higher cost of UK shares
This platform continues to get smiles from the people that work with us. You will get a great customer service experience with this platform as well as a pretty good return on your investment. The offerings could be a littler more diverse, but the trading platform is amazing to work with.
Their customer service is excellent and you will find that you will get benefits from their partnership with BlackRock. Fees are very low with this platform and you can invest with them for £500.
Best For: Low Fees and Customization
- Easy to customize app
- Low fees
- Great app performance on many devices
- Profit margins are low
- Only four investment portfolio types
This UK-based platform keeps costs low. This is a great competitor to other sites in its niche like Nutmeg and Moneyfarm. You will find that this is one of the best options in the UK to invest with. Fees are low and you will get good returns on your investments.
You can invest for just £1. There are various investment plans and you will find that you can create your own investment page that will take care of your needs to organize and research new options for your needs.
Best For: Money savings
- Low cost to invest
- Saving money
- Customer support
- Slow deposits
This app is focused more on savings than investing in some ways. You will find that this is a great fee platform that is focused on beginners and savings of money for those who are bad at it. You can withdraw money at any time and you will find that re-investing your money is easier than you think.
The interest rates are not applicable to the money you save but you can choose to invest this money if you want. You will have some delays with deposits into accounts. You will risk your capital when you make new investments, but this is not really an app that is intended for high-dollar investing either.
Which Robo-Advisor is Best?
Betterment offers you the best value for your money. You will find that there are not many other apps that will offer this level of excellent support as well as low fees and the chance to grow your money effectively. While there are some other cheaper advisors on the list as well as some options that are couched towards high dollar investments, Betterment offers the best balance of overall features for your money and efforts.
You can always choose to work with more than one investment app to maximize your options and to make your portfolio more balanced. For those who love to adventure, you can spread out your investing options by trying out a few different platforms.
Which Robo-Advisor has the Best Returns?
Fidelity offers the highest return rates of any of these advisors on the list. You will find that you will get the best ROI for your money. This is a great choice to make as well if you want to research your investments yourself and control your outcomes yourself. This is a great platform for those who know at least a little bit about investing from the get-go.
If you are in the US, you will want to work with Personal Capital for your ROI needs. The downside of reviewing some sites that are not US eligible as well as those that are not UK-eligible, means that you will have to split your reviews some. You will find that either of these options will give you a good return on your investment.
Robo advisor for beginners?
M1 Finance offers a great experience for beginners, but there are many apps on this list that will be suitable for beginners. You will need to check out your goals for your ROI as well as the kinds of investing that you want to do before you pick the right beginner app for your needs.
M1 is a great and well-rounded beginner app for a whole host of reasons. Ally Invest is a close second for ease of use. You will find that you can work with either of these apps readily if you are new to investing.
Picking the Right Robo-Advisor Can Be Easy
Picking the right Robo-Advisor does not have to be stressful. There are many ways to use this technology to your advantage to create investment opportunities for yourself. You can choose a more expensive platform that offers a bigger return on investments or you can elect to start out small with a beginner-focused app. You will likely have a great experience with any of these apps on the list, no matter how much experience you have with investing.
Robo-Advisors can be a really great option to help secure your financial future without having to worry about finding a financial advisor to manage your accounts for you. You can hold the key to your own future in your own hands with these clever investing apps.